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From the Neck Up: Crowning Glory

This slideshow contains 41 items
1
Unidentified woman, Sanford, ca. 1900

Unidentified woman, Sanford, ca. 1900

Item 49575 info
Maine Historical Society

Went out and bought the triming for our Velvet bonnets this morning but did not get the foundation.

–– Zelia Lunt, Westbrook, December 11, 1843


2
Man's black wool bowler, Auburn, ca. 1890

Man's black wool bowler, Auburn, ca. 1890

Item 48976 info
Maine Historical Society

The next spring as soon as the first style hats made their appearance in March I bought one which was a very handsome style for young Men and Many young Men wore them who never wore a stove pipe before or since.

–– John Martin, Bangor, 1846


3
 Young women in hats, Freeport, ca. 1900

Young women in hats, Freeport, ca. 1900

Item 49574 info
Maine Historical Society

Hats, hair combs and collars all can be necessary and functional or purely decorative and, expressive of the wearer's personality and sense of style.

Women often made their own lace or embroidered collars, decorated their own hats, or wound, braided, or twisted hair into unique designs held by ornate combs or pins.


4
Woman's straw bonnet, ca. 1883

Woman's straw bonnet, ca. 1883

Item 48971 info
Maine Historical Society

Men personalized their costumes in other ways like the size or tilt of the hat and the shape, size or configuration of the collar.

Men and women both were conscious of fashion and wearing not only the appropriate garb, but also the latest.


5
Woman's white lace collar, ca. 1900

Woman's white lace collar, ca. 1900

Item 49074 info
Maine Historical Society

John Martin of Bangor, who kept detailed journals, wrote in 1849, "Their first collars were turn down all uniform but a stand up dickey came in fashion and they made their debut on them at the Town house Hampden which has been in fashion to this day & I have one of them on now while writing this description."


6
Benoit's hat advertisement, Portland, ca. 1960

Benoit's hat advertisement, Portland, ca. 1960

Item 48259 info
Maine Historical Society

Eighteen men who appear to be employees of A.H. Benoit & Co., pose wearing fashionable suits and hats outside the company's Portland store on Middle Street.

The image probably was used in an advertisement.


7
Window display, Benoit's, Portland, ca. 1930

Window display, Benoit's, Portland, ca. 1930

Item 7872 info
Maine Historical Society

Benoit's men's store at 278 Middle Street in Portland often had creative window displays to introduce men – or those who shopped for them – to the latest styles and entice them into the store.


8
Benoit store window display, Portland, ca. 1950

Benoit store window display, Portland, ca. 1950

Item 48264 info
Maine Historical Society

This window display featured men's hats -- an important element of men's attire.

Benoit's had stores in Portland, Brunswick, Biddeford, Westbrook, Lewiston, and Ogunquit.


9
Hats at the A.H. Benoit Co., Portland, 1919

Hats at the A.H. Benoit Co., Portland, 1919

Item 7745 info
Maine Historical Society

The cases full of hats at Benoit's Men's Shop in Portland show the importance of a hat for the fashionable man.


10
Miniature of Margaret Stetson

Miniature of Margaret Stetson

Item 6888 info
Maine Historical Society

The miniature watercolor portrait of Margaret Stetson, possibly of Newcastle, seems to have been painted to show off her hairstyle, including high-back comb, earrings, necklace, and the decorative collar and bodice of her dress.


11
Sally Chamberlin, ca. 1810

Sally Chamberlin, ca. 1810

Item 18895 info
Maine Historical Society

Sally Chamberlin wears a high-back decorative comb in her silhouette portrait. Her sister, Viana Chamberlin Berry of New Hampshire, kept both the silhouette and a tortoiseshell comb Sally wore.


12
Sally Chamberlin comb, ca. 1820

Sally Chamberlin comb, ca. 1820

Item 48931 info
Maine Historical Society

Sally Chamberlin's high-back tortoiseshell comb, similar to the one she wore in a silhouette portrait.


13
Mary Owen Elder, Portland, ca. 1817

Mary Owen Elder, Portland, ca. 1817

Item 48932 info
Maine Historical Society

Mary Owen Elder wears her hair in ringlets, decorated with a comb perched high on the back of her head.

The daughter of Joseph and Sarah Owen of Portland, Mary Elder (1802-1858) was married to John Elder.


14
Hairpin, ca. 1900

Hairpin, ca. 1900

Item 48933 info
Maine Historical Society

Pin combs like this with a fan design often were worn with the decorative piece to one side.


15
High back hair comb, Portland, ca. 1810

High back hair comb, Portland, ca. 1810

Item 48934 info
Maine Historical Society

Ebenezer D. and Mary Frances Woodford operated a comb factory at what is now Woodford's Corner in Portland from about 1820 until Ebenezer's death in 1849.

While the factory made the popular tortoiseshell hair combs, it also made combs from cattle horns, a product it shipped to cities on the East Coast and beyond.

The high back combs were primarily for decoration, although they also could hold the hair in place.


16
Susan W. Boyd hair comb, Portland, ca. 1840

Susan W. Boyd hair comb, Portland, ca. 1840

Item 48935 info
Maine Historical Society

A leaf and flower pattern decorates this tortoiseshell hair comb. The attached tag reads: "Mrs. Susan W. Boyd, contributed by Mrs. Howard E. Soule."

Susan W. Boyd lived in Portland and Mrs. Soule may have been her daughter.


17
Hair comb, ca. 1820

Hair comb, ca. 1820

Item 48937 info
Maine Historical Society

An elaborately carved hair comb has small crosses cut out of the tortoiseshell.

The design includes a laurel wreath, sprays of laurel, and flowers and leaves.


18
Frances Western Apthorp Vaughan,  Hallowell

Frances Western Apthorp Vaughan, Hallowell

Item 8092 info
Maine Historical Society

Frances Western Apthorp (1759-1836) married Charles Vaughan (1759-1839) in 1791. The son of wealthy English merchants and plantation owners, Vaughan was involved in building mills and wharves and in trade. The family moved to Hallowell in about 1800.

An unsuccessful businessman, Vaughan also was interested in architecture and designed a number of homes and commercial buildings, including Gorham Academy.

The Vaughans, who were supporters of churches, schools, and other cultural institutions, sat for portraits by Thomas Badger (1792-1868), a noted Boston artist, who also painted a portrait of Vaughan's brother Benjamin.


19
Charles Poland, Cumberland, ca. 1825

Charles Poland, Cumberland, ca. 1825

Item 48949 info
Maine Historical Society

Charles Poland (1795-1867) of Cumberland, a ship captain and trader, posed for his portrait dressed in a suit and high collar. The telescope is a symbol of his occupation.

Poland and his wife, Eunice Harris (1794-1864), had nine children; four survived to adulthood. After Eunice's death and only two years before his own, he married Susan Chenery of Falmouth.

Men of means like Poland wore frock coats cut at the waist in the front with tails in the back and shirts with high, stiff collars and upturned points that brushed the face.


20
Storey Millinery, Portland, ca. 1914

Storey Millinery, Portland, ca. 1914

Item 11164 info
Maine Historical Society

Everyone on the street in front of Story Millinery, at the corner of Congress and Oak streets in Portland, wore a hat when the photo was taken.

Milliners, who most often were women, designed and decorated hats. Many traveled to New York regularly to buy materials and learn about the latest fashions.


21
Rev. Samuel F. Pearson, Portland, ca. 1900

Rev. Samuel F. Pearson, Portland, ca. 1900

Item 11511 info
Maine Historical Society

A top hat, stiff upright collar, small bowtie and glasses all give the Rev. Samuel F. Pearson (1841-1902) a look of dignity and distinction.

A native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Pearson served with the 40th Massachusetts Regiment for three years during the Civil War and came to Portland in 1872.

He became a strong temperance supporter and was president of the state temperance organization in the 1870s. Ordained in 1879, Pearson served as pastor of Christ's Faith Church at 402 ½ Congress Street.

In 1900, he was elected sheriff of Portland; he died in the middle of his term.


22
Senator William Pierce Frye, Lewiston, 1910

Senator William Pierce Frye, Lewiston, 1910

Item 11680 info
Maine Historical Society

William P. Frye (1831-1911), attired in a tall top hat and coat with fur collar, was an influential Maine politician.

A native of Lewiston and a graduate of Bowdoin College, he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1861, became the state's attorney general in 1867, and was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1871.

In 1881, Frye was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served as president pro tempore for fifteen years. He left the Senate shortly before his death.


23
The Shaw family, Orono, ca. 1900

The Shaw family, Orono, ca. 1900

Item 15011 info
Maine Historical Society

Dressed in what appear to be spring outfits, complete with hats, the children of Andrew and Harriet Hicks Shaw pose on the porch of the family home in Orono.

Earle and Mildred are in the front, and Christine, Angie, and Cora at the rear. Andrew Shaw was groundskeeper at the University of Maine at Orono.


24
Neal W. Allen, ca. 1892

Neal W. Allen, ca. 1892

Item 14662 info
Maine Historical Society

Neal Woodside Allen (1885-1976), son of Charles W. and Ida G. Allen, is dressed in lace collar and cuffs, shirtfront ruffles, and a large bow.

His father was an auctioneer and merchant in Portland and Neal, a 1907 graduate of Bowdoin College, was a longtime Portland auctioneer and a civic activist.


25
Arthur Stanwood, Brunswick, ca. 1897

Arthur Stanwood, Brunswick, ca. 1897

Item 17707 info
Maine Historical Society

Arthur Henry Stanwood (1892-1957) of Brunswick wore knickers, a cut-away jacket, shirt with a large, ruffled collar, and a large neck bow when he visited a photographer's studio in about 1897.

He was the son of John R. and Mary Helen Merriman Stanwood.


26
Hattie Carnegie Hat, ca. 1945

Hattie Carnegie Hat, ca. 1945

Item 48950 info
Maine Historical Society

Hattie Kenengeiser renamed herself "Hattie Carnegie" when she came to the U.S. from Austria in 1900 at age eleven.

She later started a women's dress and hat shop, basing many of her styles on Paris fashions. The brand become quite popular and a mark of high fashion for many years.

Vahan Tufankjian of Portland wore this small "Musketeer," made in Austria, that hugs the head.


27
Harry Johnson opera hat, ca. 1890

Harry Johnson opera hat, ca. 1890

Item 48981 info
Maine Historical Society

Harry Johnson of Portland, a well-known commission merchant, purchased this "opera" hat at Sawyer & Moody on Middle Street in Portland.

In 1867, when Johnson was a member of the Free Street Baptist Church Sunday School, he and other members decided to wear tall silk top hats.

Benoit's men's store displayed the hats in its window fifty years later, in 1917.


28
Chapeau-bras, ca. 1820

Chapeau-bras, ca. 1820

Item 48977 info
Maine Historical Society

A Maine Militia button is on the front of this chapeau-bras of beaver felt. Bicorn hats were practical for military use because they could be folded flat and carried under the arm.

The hat belonged to Peleg Wadsworth III (1793-1875).


29
Woman's silk bonnet, Portland, ca. 1840

Woman's silk bonnet, Portland, ca. 1840

Item 48978 info
Maine Historical Society

A member of the Longfellow family probably owned the long-brimmed bonnet of green silk.


30
Woven straw hat, ca. 1838

Woven straw hat, ca. 1838

Item 48979 info
Maine Historical Society

A woven straw hat with silk ribbons for tying under the chin follows the early 19th century style of a long curved brim designed both for modesty and for keeping the sun off the wearer's face.

Straw was fashionable year-round.


31
Abby D. Crosby, ca. 1860

Abby D. Crosby, ca. 1860

Item 48980 info
Maine Historical Society

Abby D. Crosby may have been from Albion and married to Harrison W. Crosby. They probably were married about 1860.


32
Louisa Craig Vickery, Unity, ca. 1855

Louisa Craig Vickery, Unity, ca. 1855

Item 49032 info
Maine Historical Society

Louisa Craig, born about 1831, and her older sister, Luania, married brothers. Louisa married Albert Vickery (1831-1858) of Troy sometime after the 1850 census was taken.

Louisa died of consumption (tuberculosis) shortly after the marriage. Albert died of the same disease in 1858, at age 27.

In several daguerreotype images, she is shown in fashionable attire and adornment.


33
Theophilus O. Candler, ca. 1850

Theophilus O. Candler, ca. 1850

Item 49034 info
Maine Historical Society

Theophilus Candler wears a collar with long ends crossed in front.


34
Mrs. Theophilus Candler, ca. 1850

Mrs. Theophilus Candler, ca. 1850

Item 49035 info
Maine Historical Society

Mrs. Candler, his wife, wears a hood-style hat and a large decorative collar.


35
Abner Shepherd, ca. 1850

Abner Shepherd, ca. 1850

Item 49036 info
Maine Historical Society

The daguerreotype image of Abner Shepherd of Fairfield shows a high, stiff collar and large neck bow.


36
Elizabeth Akers Allen collar, ca. 1870

Elizabeth Akers Allen collar, ca. 1870

Item 49072 info
Maine Historical Society

Women often made their decorative collars themselves. Many added a touch of style and elegance to their outfits.

Poet Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832-1911), a native of Strong who grew up in Farmington, wore this lace collar made from white and clear beads.


37
Embroidered collar, ca. 1865

Embroidered collar, ca. 1865

Item 49073 info
Maine Historical Society

Eunice Bodge of Windham made this white cotton collar and embroidered it with eyelet flowers.

Each scallop on the edge is embroidered with a bunch of grapes.


38
Longfellow crochet lace collar, Portland, ca. 1820

Longfellow crochet lace collar, Portland, ca. 1820

Item 49075 info
Maine Historical Society

Zilpha Wadsworth Longfellow, mother of poet Henry W. Longfellow, owned the crocheted lace collar. She may have made it herself.


39
William B. Cobb collar, ca. 1920

William B. Cobb collar, ca. 1920

Item 49076 info
Maine Historical Society

Detachable collars for men – invented in the 1820s in Troy, New York, – marked an important fashion departure.

Created to make laundering easier, the collars also offered a large variety of styles. Stiff collars could be rounded or pointed, stand up or fold down, have folded or unfolded tips.

After World War I, detachable – and stiff – collars became less popular.


40
Zylonite shirt insert, ca. 1887

Zylonite shirt insert, ca. 1887

Item 20158 info
Maine Historical Society

Zebulon Harmon of Portland and David Bragdon of West Durham invented and patented the Zylonite shirt insert that allowed men to wear their shirts repeatedly, changing only the front portion that showed under a jacket.

They advertised the product as a "novelty in gentlemen's neck wear" and something "new, nice and nobby."


41
Walter Andrew Monson, Woodland, ca. 1906

Walter Andrew Monson, Woodland, ca. 1906

Item 19194 info
Maine Historical Society

Walter Andrew Monson, about age 2, is decked out in a long-brimmed bonnet and a large bow collar.

He was the son of Niles A. and Amelia Monson of Woodland, both natives of Sweden.


This slideshow contains 41 items